Carton & Rosoff PC-Attorney at Law

Resolving disputes creatively

Parents must pay for health insurance separate from child support

Children in New York have many needs and parents are expected to pay for these needs while their children are in their care. These needs include food, shelter and clothing, but children also have health needs as well. They may need to go to the doctor for physicals and other routine procedures. Sometimes they unfortunately need more than that done and may require surgeries and other procedures which can be very costly for the family. However, these are costs that the parents must pay for as well.

When parents are divorced, many times child support orders are in place to ensure that both parents are contributing to all these costs. The basic child support only is meant to pay for the basics of food, clothing and shelter though. The basic child support payment is not designed to pay for the additional health costs. So, judges can also order one parent to carry health insurance for the children. Health insurance includes health, dental and optical insurance.

As long as the cost of health insurance is less than 5 percent of the parents' combined income the cost of covering the children is considered reasonable. Also, if only one parent has health insurance available for the children, the choice for the judge is pretty easy. However, deciding what to do can become more difficult when both parents have insurance available or the cost of the health insurance is not reasonable. In situations when both parents have available health insurance, the judge would have to analyze both plans and determine which one is best in terms of coverage for the children and costs to the parents.

As parents in New York know, raising children can present many difficulties and it can also be expensive. However, parents are expected to pay for these costs whether they are together or not. How a parent pays for the expenses does change though depending on whether they are together or not. If they are not together, one parent is usually required to pay the other child support. In addition to child support one parent may also be required to pay for health insurance for the children. These cases can be complicated and experienced attorneys may be able to guide one through the process.

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